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I want to be an R.N. BUT

by TheDreamJob TheDreamJob (New) New

I don't know the first step. I've wanted to become a R.N. since I was 8 years old. I'm 16 now. I'm headed to a school now that will give me my high school diploma and has carrer placement. I'm getting ready to start in January and it's a 2-year program. But, I'm so confused on the process to become a R.N. Because I know you have to be a LPN before RN and I think NA before becoming a LPN. I don't know someone please help me understand this more.

Christie RN2006

Specializes in SICU, EMS, Home Health, School Nursing.

You don't have to have anything except a high school diploma to go into RN school. I went straight from college into a nursing school! Some programs do require you to either become a CNA or an LPN before you can get your RN, but nearly every school I know of around where I live doesn't. You can start checking out the schools you are interested in now. They should have a website with information on their programs or you can have them send you information. Also, so you have a guidance counselor that you could talk to? Feel free to PM me if you have any more questions!


Specializes in Med/Surg.

Hi Dreamjob

No, you do not have to be an LPN before you become an RN...but you may if you wish. Taking a CNA class may be required for your program-it was for mine....Your best bet would be to contact the school you wish to attend. They will have more information than you know what to do with!

Good luck.


MedicalLPN, LPN

Specializes in Onco, palliative care, PCU, HH, hospice.

As others have said LPN isn't required. However, that's the path I took, as a junior in highschool I did the CNA program and as a senior in high school I did the first 9 months of the LPN program while working as a CNA then once I graduated highschool I had nine months left in the LPN program worked as a CNA and graduated from the LPN program this past May. I work full time now at a hospital and plan on going back to school next semester to work on my RN. The CNA to LPN and LPN to RN path may take a little bit longer but financially it can definately be worth it not to mention once I graduate as an RN I'll have already been working as a nurse for a couple of years and that experience can make a world of difference.


Specializes in NICU. Has 15 years experience.

Great thread for our Nursing Career Advice Forum, so I moved it there. Good luck to you!

Take all of the science and math you can and get high grades. You'll get right in.

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

Work with the career placement center in your high school. They can direct you towards the nursing programs that are right for you. They should also be able to advise you on getting any financial aid that might be available to you so that you can pay for the school of your choice.

As others have said, there is no need to work you way up the career ladder to become an RN. At many schools, you can enter the RN program right out of high school -- go to college for a Bachelor's Degree in Nursing (BSN) just like you classmates who will be going to college to study other fields. Starting out at the university level getting a 4-year BSN to start with can be more expensive at the beginning, but it gets you the BSN at a younger age that you will need to qualify for a wider variety of jobs and for more advance jobs later. That route is the "fast track" to leadership positions in nursing and to the many different roles in nursing other than a hospital staff nurse position.

Some people choose to start their RN careers by getting a 2-year Associate's Degree (ADN) or a 3-year Diploma from a hospital school of nursing. Those options can be less expensive in the beginning, but they will require that you go back to school later to get the BSN (or graduate degree) later if you want the more varied and advanced career opportunities later. Some people are very happy taking that career pathway and it works well for them -- particularly if their future employers help them pay for the additional education.

However, other people are not so satisfied with doing their education a step at a time. They find it difficult to go back to school later in life once they have become adults and need to completely support themselves financially, have to pay rent or a house mortgage, have a husband to consider, have kids to take care of, etc. Those people wish they had gotten that BSN right out of high school while their parents were still giving them a place to live for free and they didn't have so many other committments that makes it more difficult to go back to school later. Some people always intend to go back to school for that BSN, but never get around to it and get bitter about their career as they don't have the options for career advancement and/or variety in middle-age that they would like to have.

As I said, work with your school's advisors and do lots of research on the many different options available for someone in your position. Look at both the positives and the negatives of each option and choose the one that is best for you. Good luck!

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